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Scots top global cocaine use poll

Scotland has some of the highest levels of adults using cocaine in Europe, according to a United Nations report.

The World Drug Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said the "annual prevalence of cocaine use" among the adult population in Scotland was 3.7% in 2005 and 2009.

In England it was 3.0% last year and 2.4% in 2008 and in Spain it was 3.0% in 2008.

The report said: "The world's second largest flow of cocaine is directed towards Europe, and this flow has been growing rapidly.

"The largest national cocaine market within Europe is the United Kingdom, followed by Spain, Italy, Germany and France. Cocaine use prevalence levels are higher in the United Kingdom and Spain than in the United States.

"Recent data suggest that the rapid growth of the European cocaine market is beginning to level off in some of the biggest national markets such as Italy, Spain and Germany.

"Consumption is still growing in the United Kingdom and in some of the smaller European markets, however."

North America is the largest regional cocaine market, with close to 40% of the global cocaine-using population.

The report said: "In 2008, it appears that 196 metric tons of pure cocaine were required to satisfy North American demand."

The report, which was released on Thursday, also said the global area under opium poppy cultivation declined to 181,400 hectares in 2009 or by 23% since 2007.

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